I am in Chennia (Madras) at an internet cafe with Mary Beth. Our host, Global Network Board Member Sri Raman from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament & Peace, today organized a news conference for me to speak at. Three TV stations and two of the biggest papers in the country, The Hindu and Indian Express, were among the 13 media outlets that showed up.
I talked about how 61% of the American people now oppose the U.S. occupation of Iraq and that opposition is growing daily. I talked about the hypocrisy of the U.S. telling North Korea and Iran they can't have nuclear weapons and then the U.S. is moving to build new generations of nukes. I wish I had known about this treatment of Bob Anderson before the news conference but be damn sure that I will share the story with the Indian people during the rest of my journey. I also said that the U.S.-India nuclear deal should not be passed by the U.S. Senate next month. The House (with my congressman's support) already voted in favor of it. The Indian peace movement is strongly urging the deal not go forward because it will increase India's ability to make more nuclear weapons which will only make things in this already dangerous region worse! The U.S. has been helping Pakistan with nuclear technology and new high-tech conventional weapons. Once again the old U.S. strategy of arming all sides increases chances of war but is good for weapons corporation profits.
Signs of corporate domination of India are everywhere. They are pushing low-cost loans to the people here so they can buy, buy, buy everything from cell phones, big cars, fancy western clothes, expensive high-tech toys, and the like while legions of people are sleeping in the streets and many places have no sewar systems.
We are proud of our friends in the peace movement here and they were thrilled to learn of our recent 10-day fast against the war. They were even more thrilled as the day we arrived (Monday) was Gandhi's birthday and a national holiday and I was carrying the full-page advert we took out in the Brunswick Times Record about our fast and it had Gandhi's photo on it.
So somebody reading this please tell Bob Anderson in Albuquerque that I am dedicating the rest of this trip to him and his courage.
Much love and peace to all of you. Stand up now....stand up for something now....while you can still stand.
And remember what Gandhi said:
"When I despair,
I remember that all through history
the ways of truth and love have always won.
There have been tyrants, and murderers,
and for a time they can seem invincible,
but in the end they always fall.
Think of it - always."
Mahatma Gandhi - early 20th century